Weekend Preview – Saturday 23/09/17

A much truncated League Programme because of the FA Vase with just four matches in the Premier Division and three in Division One. Blackfield & Langley, unbeaten at the top of the Premier Division and with fourteen goals in their last two games, entertain Bemerton Heath Harlequins on what could be a daunting afternoon for the Wiltshire Club, whilst another unbeaten side, Andover Town, travel to Cowes Sports hoping to replicate their earlier trip to the Island when they proved too strong for Newport (IOW). Fourth place Sholing go to Portland with the home side only having won one of their last six League fixtures and in the final game Team Solent, who notched their first win and eight goals last week, travel to Shaftesbury who give little away on their own ground. In Division One League leaders Laverstock and Ford host AFC Stoneham who, whilst in tenth place in the League, have only lost once in their last six matches. The remaining two fixtures concern the other end of the table with Folland Sports entertaining East Cowes Victoria and Totton and Eling travelling to Verwood. The Islanders gave a creditable performance against Tadley Calleva last week whilst Verwood Town have lost their last six games and Totton and Eling have conceded eleven goals in their last two matches. All points won will be warmly welcomed.

So to the FA Vase with the usual unnecessary number of ties involving Sydenhams Wessex League Cubs drawn against each other. Newport (IOW), who have enjoyed better results in Cup matches than in the League of late, entertain Alresford Town who are struggling with injuries at present while there is an interesting tie at the Bypass ground where Romsey Town, third in Division One, face a Bournemouth side who are in the lower half of the Premier Division but pulled off a fine victory at Horndean in midweek. AFC Portchester return from their FA Cup exploits to face Division One Tadley Calleva at home and there is another Division One versus Premier meeting at Alton where the home side host the improving Amesbury Town. Perhaps the tie of the round as far as the League is concerned is at the County Ground where Hamworthy United entertain Lymington Town. The Dorset side are strong at home but Lymington have won five of their last six in the League and it really could be anyone’s game on the day.  Bashley meet Hythe and Dibden with neither side prolific scorers and there is probably a first-ever meeting between Hamble Club and Petersfield Town with the first named favourites on their own ground. In the ties against opposition from other Leagues Horndean, looking to put their last two results behind them, travel to Knaphill near Woking whilst Brockenhurst head in the same direction to Godalming Town. The Combined Counties side, who were relegated last season, have not found life in the lower Division any easier and currently occupy nineteenth place in the table. Fareham Town, desperate to end a long losing run, entertain Binfield who lost at Horndean in the FA Cup and anther Hellenic League side, Sandhurst, receive a visit from Ringwood Town. The hosts play in Divison One East and may find the often free scoring visitors too strong on the day. The final clash with the Hellenic League is at Windsor with a first ever meeting with Whitchurch United and a difficult draw for the North Hampshire side. Unusually there are two ties where Sussex Clubs provide the opposition with Baffins Milton Rovers entertaining Selsey and US Portsmouth travelling to Midhurst & Easebourne. Selsey currently lead Division One in Sussex but Baffins are a level higher and could prove too strong, and with Midhurst having collected only three points from seven games in the same Division US Portsmouth have every chance to progress. Downton travel to Western League Calne Town who knocked East Cowes Victoria out in the last round but are struggling in the League, while Christchurch are also on the road with Westbury the destination. The Wiltshire Club top the Western League Division One and with Christchurch among the pace setters in our own Division One a tight game in prospect. Lastly Fawley AFC, who pulled off a fine win at Laverstock & Ford in the last round, travel to former Wessex League Club Swanage and Herston who currently top the Dorset Premier League with seven wins out of eight.

 

Good luck to all.